BLUE OCEANS AND EMPTY SWIMMING POOLSblue ocean strategy powerpoint
Or the business lessons I learnt in an Italian "Piscina" A few yearsago I spent 4 months in Italy looking for the answer to the meaning ofLife, the Universe and Everything Sitting on piazzas, sippingespresso, licking gelato and letting the Universe speak to me withoutdistraction felt like a good idea (By the way, it was a good idea andShe did speak to me, but that is another story!) One of the manyexciting experiences I had while in Italy was going for a swim in alocal swimming pool I had taken up swimming as a serious strategyon the way to everlasting life a few years previous and was keen tocontinue the regime while waiting for the universe to send Hermessages Most of us have some knowledge of Italian traffic; wetake great delight to relate crazy traffic stories on our return fromRome or Naples Italian traffic does indeed seem to operate alongdifferent rules than traffic in Australia, but the truly crazy traffic ofItaly is to be found elsewhere, namely in the local swimming pools onany afternoon of the week My first introduction to the councilswimming pool in Florence was a heart stopping experienceBloodbath There must have been 500 people in the pool, swimmingin 500 different directions and all trying to find clear water My pursuitof life everlasting took a backseat to my pursuit of life right then Icrawled out of the pool 10 minutes later with a bleeding nose,bruises and scratches all over my body, as if I had been in a pubfight I realised that I needed to change my approach to keeping myhard-won level of fitness during this summer of Chianti and Pizza
The competition was simply too fierce, there was only so muchwater to be found and everyone had to battle it out in the bloodbaththat is the Florence Piscina "How to make the Competition irrelevant"I was reminded of this experience recently when reading a greatbook called "Blue Ocean Strategy; How to make the competitionirrelevant" In order to continue my swimming and fitness regime Ihad to find a pool where I could swim my laps, and zone-out withoutfearing for my life I did; It turns out that Italians hate early morningexercise, it doesnt fit with their life style at all, especially in summer,and so even though the pools open at 7 00 am, nobody comes neara swimming pool until about 10 30 The other buggers The authors ofBlue Ocean Strategy make a similar point about business andcompetition Most of us business owners look at our competition andask: How can we stand out from the crowd, how can we be better,quicker, cheaper than the other buggers? In other words, we go tobattle with our competition for the same dollar, the same customerBut what might we see if we step outside that battle for a minute?What might we see about the market and our business in it? Whatother opportunities are there? And how can we access thoseopportunities? What can we do to find clear water in the pool, so wecan focus on doing what we do best instead of spending all thatenergy trying to beat the competition? It is tempting to engage withthe battle right in front of us and become absorbed by it But is itreally the best place to direct our energy? Maybe we can find adifferent field to play in all by ourselves? My own example Let megive you a business example from my own experience I normallyrefer to myself as a "Business Coach" There is no accepteddefinition of what business coaching actually is, but there is asuccessful franchise company that also describes its services as"Business Coaching"
Because I also refer to myself as a business coach, I am by defaultin competition with this company and swim in the same pool withthem even though my approach and services are very different fromtheirs For a while I was tempted to compete head-on with thiscrowd, to develop marketing materials and products, services andpackages that were better, cheaper, quicker, faster than theirs Inother words I felt compelled to try to compete with them for space inthe same swimming pool At some point I realised the stupidity ofthis strategy To do so I would have to change my personal values,my philosophy and my approach to my clients That is not a tenableproposition obviously, and it became clear to me that what I had todo instead, was to find my own swimming pool Being able to settleinto my favorite stroke without concerning myself what strokeeverybody else was swimming and if I was about to be run over Ittook me some time, but I have found that pool and I am so muchhappier for it Find your own pool So this is your mission, should youchoose to accept it: Go out and find your empty swimming pool,where you can swim powerfully on your own, being able to focus onyour own stroke as opposed to everybody elses To find this emptyswimming pool you need to ask yourself a few simple questions: 1)blue ocean strategy powerpoint Who are the potential customers ofmy services? 2) Which group(s) of potential customers dont buy (orvirtually dont) from my company or from my competitors? 3) Whatare all the factors that we and all our competitors already competeon with each other? 4) On which factors are none of us competing? 3Case studies: - Financial planning for Gen Y: A Financial Planningcompany I worked with some years ago went through a strategyplanning process with me in which we asked questions like thoseabove The process turned up that all financial planners were tryingto out-compete each other on the same factors and all aimed at the
The owner of the company saw a trend in society that indicated thatyoung generation Yers were holding off buying their first bit of realestate and electing to continue to pay rent in the trendy inner cityareas of Sydney He suspected that when Gen Yers turn 35 they toostart to think about having families and homes in the suburbs andthat they would need a substantial nest egg to put down as a deposit The other thing he noticed was that Gen Yers as a rule wantnothing to do with financial planners, and vice versa He put theseobservations together and developed a really funky and smartoffering aimed at helping Gen Yers prepare for the day that they dowant to buy a home to raise their family in Initially the fees theyearned from these services were minimal but over time it hasbecome a golden business, and essentially without competition Myclient swims in his own pool and practices his own stroke - Smartvideo productions: Another client of mine produces video productions To create his own swimming pool he has found a way to produce a
professionally edited and cut 3 camera coverage of an event for theprice of single camera operator The difference this makes in qualityis enormous He is now swimming in a pool all by himself
For particular types of events (awards nights, school events,weddings etc) and a particular type of client, his competition isirrelevant - Renovating Sydneys terrace houses: Finally I haveanother example from my own days as a builder in the crowdedSydney renovations market We came to a realisation that 80% ofTerrace houses fit in one of 5 design templates At the same timemost terrace house owners want to open up the back of the house tothe light, bring the bathroom into the middle of the house and updatethe kitchen etc Putting these two realisations together meant that wewere able to offer a standardised design-and-construct service thatnobody else was able to match Very soon clients were knockingdown the door and we stopped worrying about the competition Doyour thing If you would like to create your own swimming pool, yourown golf course or your own private trout stream for your business,why dont you come and have a chat with me I can assure you thereis nothing more fun and rewarding in business than swimming inyour own pool The book I referred to is: - "Blue Ocean Strategy" byW Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne Article by Roland Hanekroot,